Flathead Co. moving into Phase 1B+ of COVID-19 vaccine plan

COVID vaccine Ravalli
Posted at 2:00 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 17:58:10-05

KALISPELL — Flathead County health officials are starting immunizations for individuals aged 60 years and older in Phase 1B+ at three vaccine clinics this week.

“In that first half a day we had 1,000 forms filled out and it just kept rolling,” said Flathead County Health Officer Joe Russell.

Russell told MTN News that the demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the county is high after Gov. Greg Gianforte announced the start of Phase 1B+ last week.

Russell says more than 2,500 Flathead residents that fit the criteria have already signed up online for the vaccine.

He says the county is receiving a steady dose of 1,200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on a weekly basis as well as an additional 1,200 doses every two to three weeks.

“We’re getting an extra tray every few weeks and we’re putting that into the system,” Russell said.

Russell added the county has also received its first allotment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine -- 800 doses.

Health officials will start to administer doses of the single-shot vaccine on Thursday.

Russell noted a portion of vaccine allotment will be saved for homebound patients and special populations.

“We’re not going to get it weekly; we do not know when we’re going to get the next shipment so we thought since it’s refrigeration stable, we thought this would be a good one to keep for homebound, special populations.”

Russell says the health department plans to administer more than 2,700 doses of the vaccine this week during clinics at the Flathead County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

He advises that the best way to sign up for the vaccine is to fill out a vaccine request form on the health department’s website or to call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at (406) 751-8119 and leave a voicemail.